Stage 9: Wadi Al Dawasir – Haradh
14 January, 2020
Ourednicek and Kripal warm up for marathon with good result
Stage 9 of the 42nd edition of Dakar Rally on Tuesday saw another great result by Ultimate Dakar’s Tomas Ourednicek and David Kripal. The Czech crew reached the finish line with their Ford Ranger with 26th time and improved their position overall to 36th after a smooth and successful day.
Today’s 886 km long stage between Wadi Al Dawasir and Haradh began early in the morning with an almost 500 km long transfer section, followed by 410 kilometres against the clock. In the dust of the trucks starting in front of them, Tomas and David focused on bringing their Ford Ranger Dakar home safely, without taking any unnecessary risks, as after the dramatic accident in Stage 6 their only goal can be now to finish the rally. They managed to build up a steady pace that in the end allowed them to score a decent stage result again and climb back up a few places also in the overall classification.
“The first part of the special stage was quite fast but also technical and sometimes tricky, perfect for the trucks because they did not need to care about the stones. In the dust it was impossible to overtake so we opted for a more cautious pace, especially after seeing two of the Toyotas crashed heavily. I was really satisfied with the engine, our mechanics did a great job, we have the power again. On the other hand, we had some problems with the brakes that gave us scary moments on the highway, but by now we know it was only the pedal so we can fix it easily. Altogether, we are happy to be here and now we are preparing the car for the next stages thoroughly as the next two days will be considered marathon stages with no assistance tomorrow evening,” Tomas said in the bivouac after the finish of Stage 9.
David also saw the day in a positive light: “We have finished another stage and the result is quite good again. The track and the navigation were nice and I enjoyed the day, although we had to drive very carefully in the first one hundred kilometres. After we managed to overtake the trucks the rest of the stage was really good for us.”
Wednesday’s Stage 10 is considered the first part of the so-called marathon, meaning that the crews can’t rely on their team in the evening. The total distance of the day between Haradh and Shubaytah will be 608 km, the timed section will be 534 km long.
About the team
Racing career of Tomas Ourednicek started back in 2008 when he became the co-driver of Miroslav Zapletal. The crew finished in a superb 7th position (3rd in category T1.1) in their first Dakar together and went on to win the Hungarian and the Czech Championship title as well as some excellent results in the World Cup in the next months. Despite suffering a big crash during the 2010 edition of the Dakar Rally they worked their way back to the elite, finishing 4th in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in 2011.
After starting (and finishing) in trucks in the 2012 edition of the Dakar and a short break in 2013, Ourednicek decided to return to the tracks for the 2014 season, but this time at the steering wheel. As the vehicle, he opted for a Hummer H3 EVO and he finished second in the FIA Central European Zone Championship right in his debut year. Two years (and as many category championship titles) later, he decided to take another step forward, and from the beginning of the 2017 season, he drives a Ford Ranger Dakar under the flag of South Racing Central Europe.
With his new co-driver David Kripal they scored a victory in their first ever race together, Morocco Desert Challenge, the biggest rally-raid event in Africa, in April 2017. Due to an accident of Kripal, the crew couldn’t take part in as many World Cup events as they wanted, but still they were able to finish 8th in HunGarian Baja and be among the best 15 in the two biggest events of the World Cup, Baja Aragon and Rallye OiLibya du Maroc.
In 2018 they finished their first Dakar together in 33rd position after struggling with technical problems for most of the race. Following their horror accident in April 2018, in the 2019 edition of Dakar Rally they scored their best stage result so far, a 15th place, and finished 17th overall.